Every young man or woman about to get married knows what it takes to make the marriage work. Yet, tonnes of divorces happen, or marriages simply don’t work out.
Every young player starting his sports career knows what it takes to be a top gun in that game, yet just a few make it finally.
Every young lawyer starting his practice knows what the most paid lawyers did in the past 30 years to reach where they have. Yet, so few finally make it.
Every technologist can study the source code of the best websites freely available on the net, and yet, so few can be brilliant designers!
Every student in each class of the school knows exactly what the best scholars are doing, yet only one becomes a Rank 1 in the class each year.
Every coach shares the same tricks and smarts with each apprentice. Yet, so many don’t make it.
The reason is simple. As the mentor Morpheus famously told the protégé Neo in the blockbuster “Matrix”, there is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.
Here’s a handy list of differentiators gleaned from my more than two decades of direct experience of training students :
- The Mindset – Just because there are so many in the race does not mean that each one of them has thought through the process and its consequences before signing up for it. Many may be there just for the heck of it, yet many more can be there because their parents suggested so, and some may be there just to experience it without any genuine commitment to the outcome. That suddenly shortens the potentials to barely 20 or 30% of the whole crowd. So, if 10 lac people buy the Application Form of the UPSC test, or 2 lac people register for the IIMCAT, not more than 25% at the most are really, really serious about making it.
- The Best Fit scenario – Each one of us is special. When we look back upon our lives upon reaching a mature age, we will clearly see what we were destined to become or what we could have been best at. Yet, so many of us do not put enough thought to what we should be doing rather than what we have been thrust into, or find ourselves into. We may be extremely hard-working and ambitious, but we just may not be made for a certain career we end up chasing. For example : a person who is no a man of the micro, should stay away from trying to become a Chartered Accountant. Someone else who cannot envision big things and lead a group of people should not try to become an MBA. If one cannot envision a life spent serving the masses, then spending several years preparing for UPSC is useless – either you will become lousy civil servant, or a very corrupt one. Either ways, you will not be happy. And the nation will pay a very big price for your misadventure.
- The Execution Discipline – There is no point ever in dreaming big, if you know you cannot maintain the enthusiasm for a long time on a consistent basis. Most students start a course with terrific enthusiasm, and then simply disintegrate with every passing week. Reasons could be many. But the outcome is same. Failure. It is much better to be cool and calm from the beginning, put in a few limited hours daily, and stick to the regimen. If your curve tapers off really fast, every time, you should reconsider your life’s options seriously before the combined weight of failures start weighing on your self-esteem.
- The Right Mentor – It can make a big difference if you are able to find the right mentor for you, at various stages of your life. Some are tough – they work well for strong individuals. Some are very gentle and hand-holding types – they are good for the really emotional ones. A general adage that applies here is – Hammer breaks glass but forges steel. So if you are the glass, try staying away from a hammer.
- Constant Motivation – There is little doubt that stories of challenged individuals who made it big can send that much needed electrical current of motivation through your system, but it is foolish to only rely on such shocks to propel you forward. You have to find a source of motivation that’s internal, not external. Only then is a permanent positive motion is guaranteed. And how to find it? Simple. Ask what you really really enjoy doing. Then find a career that helps you do that.
So, to sum it up all –
- You are unique, and your plan has to unique too
- There are hundreds of potential careers, not just a handful
- Your life is your responsibility, not your parents’
I hope this helped! For any guidance, get in touch with me. Happy to help!
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